Some Good (And Bad) News!

12 07 2008

Okay, so I know this is a very old cliche, but whatever…

Let’s start with the good news first:

After lots of efforts (and long nights), I’ve finally managed to get my computer back in business after changing my mobo and CPU. I ran into some problems trying to get my SATA HDDs to run in AHCI mode, and sadly, I failed, miserably!! For some unknown reason, neither Vista nor XP would install when I changed the BIOS settings to AHCI. So, anyway, after 10 (maybe more) unsuccessful attempts I gave up, and got both OSs installed in dual-boot configuration using the good old normal IDE mode:

– Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 for my everyday PC use.

– Windows XP SP3 for gaming purposes only.

And now, my new beloved CPU, the almighty Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 is sitting tight and cool in a brand new Gigabyte EP35-DS3R. No complaints whatsoever! It’s one super amazing piece of hardware. PC is literally flying right now. I decided to re-finish Crysis for the 4th time just to enjoy the smell of burning silicon!!! That game really stresses everything! And that’s exactly where you could see the Quad stretching its legs.

So, the bad news is, DirectX 11 is coming with Windows 7. Which practically means a new wave of DX11-compatible hardware. Which also brings the sad news to those who own a DX10 card, like me: start looking for a DX11 replacement card!!!! WTF?!@#?!@#?$!@#$^@#$. I bought my DX10 card less than a year ago!!!!!!

It’s really facsinating how companies work together to make you replace your brand new VGA card just to get some new features!! Don’t you guys love it when nVidia & ATI start bragging about how important it is to get a new DX11 VGA?!?!?!

Whatever. I’m glad I got my PC working again. And so begins the long process to get everything set up the way I like it all over again……

Note: obviously you guys have a clue as to where I’ve been in the last 2 weeks, don’t you?!?! Sorry anyways…

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CPU+GPU Upgrade Benefits

4 06 2008

A great and extensive article on Tom’s Hardware shows the benefit of upgrading either the CPU or the GPU, or even both. It concentrates mostly on gaming performance between different hardware parts, indicating some cheaper parts that offer almost the same performance.

Read it here: GPU vs. CPU Upgrade – Tom’s Hardware

If you’re planning to upgrade, I strongly suggest you read that article. It could save you lots of money.





Saving PC Gaming

19 05 2008

I don’t agree that PC gaming needs to be saved. But however, several organizations are trying to “save” it from the unknown threat. The latest effort is an AMD logo program to identify that a certain PC is capable of “decent” gaming performance in major titles.

It’s actually ridiculous to try and think that way. Simply because the PC hardware market is a an everyday changing market. Current top of the line PCs will be mainstreams in a year or two. And so is the case with PC games.

So, an AMD Game! certified PC today will certainly be outdated next year, and will surely be incapable of running next year’s games..

Anyway, Mark Hachman of ExtremeTech has a very interesting idea on how to solve this. And I like it very much. You can find the original article here: Another Sorry Effort to Save PC Gaming?





MY PC, Part 2:

9 05 2008

… Continuing with the brag:

– A good gaming rig would certainly be incomplete without a descent sound system. My sound system consists of a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card coupled with Creative Inspire 5200 5.1 speaker system. Now, I know that Creative isn’t doing well at the moment, and it’s turning to be a magnet for negative press, but I can’t deny the fact that they have made a great sound processor. The X-Fi processor is a revolution actually, I don’t really know much about it, but I DO know that the sound is like nothing else I have ever heard! Even on the modest speaker system I have. It’s literally pushing the speakers to their limits. I can’t tell you how much I’m satisfied with that sound card, you just have to go buy and see for yourself!

– 580 GB of storage space comes from two SATA2 HDDs: The WD 500GB AAKS with 16 MB of internal cache. And the Samsung 80 GB SpinRite with 8 MB of cache.

– Two Samsung CD drives: One is a combo drive, the other is a DVD-RW drive.

– One could never realize how important the power supply unit until one starts to get CTDs and random restarts. So, to extinguish the power thirst of the system I have bought a respectable FSP PSU, with 350W (effective) of raw power. It has 2 +12V rails, and a 12 CM fan.

– The case has 2 fans: one Arctic Cooling 9.2 CM on the back, and a Zalman 3000RPM 8 CM on the front.

– A 17″ Hyundai ImageQuest L70S+ LCD monitor. Native resolution: 1280*1024.

And to sum it all up, here’s some facts about my rig:

Temperatures (24 C. room temp.): – System: 35 C – CPU 45, 57 C (Idle, Load) – GPU Core 54, 72 C (Idle, Load) – HDDs ~32 C.

3DMark06: ~7600 3DMarks (~1750 CPU, ~3000 SM2.0, ~4000 HDR/SM3.0).

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If you have read so far I would like to thank you for your time. Some of the information here might be useful to some people who like to compare system performance with similar hardware.





MY PC, Part 1:

7 05 2008

Considering that I’ve spent lots of money (some mine some from my father’s pocket) on my PC, and that I spend 90% of my home-time using it, I couldn’t help but to brag about it here.

And since this is MY blog, I get to write as much as I want! Hurraaay!!

Let me start by saying (and stressing) that I’m a devoted Gamer. Can’t live without games. But we’ll talk about that later. The point is: my rig is a gaming rig, so please bare with me as I try to explain the details.

So, inside my magnificent piece of time-sucking hardware you’ll find:

– An Asus LGA775 motherboard, model P5LD2, with an Intel 945P chipset. Supports DDR2 frequencies up to 667MHz. Sadly, it doesn’t support the new Core2Duo processors ;(

– A very torture-able CPU: the Intel Pentium D805, which consists basically of 2 Pentium 4’s stitched together to make a dual-core processor using the 90nm process. It’s proudly rated @ 105 Watts, so obviously it’s hotter than a water boiler! Stock FSB frequency @ 133MHz giving it an effective QDR frequency of 2.66GHz. (very low, I know), but the bad news ends here.

– With the aid of a very precious Asus Silent SQUARE heatsink/fan + Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste, I’m now able to comfortably overclock the CPU all the way up to 3.5GHz (175MHz FSB)! Temperatures are ~58 C. under load, and about 46 C. when idle. Great numbers for a rated power of 150 Watts!!!

– Joining the CPU on the northbridge are 4 sticks of identical Kingston 512MB DDR2 667MHz CL5 ValueRAM. Also overclocked, and running at 700MHz.

– Aaaaand, introducing the masterpiece, the fierce, power-hungry, mindblowing BFGTech nVidia 8800GT VGA card!!!! (Applause all-around). It’s the OC edition and comes factory-overclocked @ 625MHz, 1566MHz, 1800MHz (Core, Shaders, Memory). Equipped with the legendary G92 GPU core by nVidia, the card is a REAL MONSTER!! But of course, I just can’t settle with stock speeds, so I overclocked it to a humble 675MHz, 1688MHz, 1950MHz (Core, Shaders, Memory). Problem is, it runs a bit hot, so I had to modify the fan speeds to make it run faster under load. So, the GPU core hardly steps over 75 C. under heavy load. And idles at 55 C. Moderate, I think.

To be continued…. (it’s 5 AM already!)